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Old 09-20-2017, 09:37 AM   #1
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Engine: Dt 466e
In-frame attempt on a DT-466

So my bus conversion has been on a long hiatus, which is such agony when you want to get her up and flying.

The long story is that I was taking the bus to get it weighed before we started building the interior. (Mainly out of curiosity) and our engine threw up! I checked the dipstick, saw the classic chocolate milkshake, and suspected coolant dumped into the oil pan. We took her to the mechanic and they confirmed that we had liner seals fail on the #6 and #4 pistons. Since they were going to break down the engine to get to the seals they wanted to go ahead and do an in frame while they were in there. Sounded good to me, who doesn't want a new engine? But the labor cost of $4,305 didn't sound as great. I don't mind spending a couple thousand on parts but rush truck center wanted $8,923.41 for the total cost of the job!

The short story, I would like to attempt an in frame rebuild at best or at least replace my piston liners on my own. So this is where I ask for your help team!

If anyone has any documents, youtube videos, or schematics that would help me in this endeavour I would be greatly appreciative. Also, could anyone make list of tools needed for this pursuit? I have most basic tools but I know I may need to purchase some more specialized items.

My bus is a 2001 bluebird with the lovely DT-466e. It is a conventional dog nose so I've got easy access.

As I rebuild I'm going to do my best to document the repair job and post it here for use by fellow skoolies who may want to do the same thing in the future.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:20 AM   #2
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I am curious as to the back story, how many miles, did you check coolant did it overheat etc. What lead up to the failure? Is is a new bus to you and maybe had these problems before hand?

Anyway I will be following along to this thread, I have often wonder about how to in frame a DT466 and if it's something I could do.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:58 AM   #3
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So we bought the bus last November and drove it 5 hours from northeastern Kentucky back to western North Carolina with no problems. For the most part it stayed parked over the winter while we worked on the interior gutting. We moved it a couple times just to get it closer to power outlets and the like, these moves would have only been a matter of yards though. When I was taking the bus to the closest scales which are only about 5 miles away I noticed the check oil/overheating lights at mile 3 and immediately pulled over. I know from the evidence left behind from the engine puke tube that it had dumped closer to the beginning of the trip.

So maybe the rings failed over the winter? I'm really not sure.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:49 PM   #4
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This is certainly something you can do! Your biggest obstacle is getting the old liners out. You may be able to find a used tool on eBay that is purpose built for the job. But you could also make a liner puller yourself. Just spend some time browsing the web and youtube and you'll quickly figure out what you would need to do in order to make one.

Depending on how many miles your engine has on it you could potentially just replace the o-rings on the liners and pop them back in. But if you're going to all of the effort and you've got a good amount of miles on your engine (or cavitation on your liners) you should probably go ahead and install a new in-frame rebuild kit. Finding a manual will make the job easier if you know all the proper tolerances and torque specs. I believe the manual you want is EGES-210.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:50 PM   #5
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From what I understand, there's really only 2 major challenges on this rebuild. First, the head is *HEAVY* and like 6 feet off the ground. You'll need some way to manhandle it off the engine and to the ground. Second, as Rensch said, removing the cylinder liners (usually with pistons still in them, I think). I do believe everything else is within the grasp of a do-it-yourselfer. You'll want to go ahead and get the head reworked (or exchange it for one) while it's off.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:56 PM   #6
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I believe the pistons and connecting rods will have to come out before you pull the liners. Most pullers work by pulling up from the bottom of the liner so you obviously can't have anything in the way.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:47 PM   #7
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From taking things apart - printers, laptops, computers, and electronics... take pictures... before you remove each part of how it was before, what fasteners you removed, and when you figure out the not so obvious step... take pictures.

At least when reassembling you'll now have a reference.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:58 PM   #8
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I just did mine..... It would be best if you have a garage to work in or at least a concrete pad. If you have some experience rebuilding engines, good. But if not, its not for a do it yourselfer. Feel free to ask me any questions. I documented some of it here. The Bus Life | Good News Bus: Forum
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:02 PM   #9
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Liners or sleeves. Pretty much the same. We used a sleeve pullers on my dad's v8 60 hp flathead fords built up to about 400 hp n his50's Midget Race car.

You will need some certain tools but you can do it. Nothing more than a big truck.


In Costa Rica they send out trucks with tons of tools ,parts and huge fitted tents over a broke down semi truck on a mountain rd.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:10 AM   #10
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So the engine has about 132,000 it was retired from the school system in Kentucky where we bought it but it was sold to a guy that sells farm equipment. He was going to try to sell it to a church but no one was biting so we swooped in and snatched her. She came with all the service records and documentation from the school which was also nice. Luckily I'm pretty handy and have experience working on cars and motorcycles why not add diesels to the list eh?

I do have a 2 door basement garage with plenty of workbench space and a big concrete pad in front. The first order of business is moving the bus in front of one of the bays. Normally this wouldn't be a problem as I know how to cage the brakes. However, there are two complications, the first is that I have to replace the driver side steer tire. The tow truck driver, as talented as he was, managed to run it over a piece of rebar coming up the driveway. The second is the grade on which it ended up being parked, welcome to the mountains WNC! Although, really, the hill isn't too bad, I just have to be careful.

All I know is I will have enough stories to write a great book series from this bus experience. We have been calling her Sister Golden Hair Surprise after the America song. She definitely keeps us on our toes.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:59 AM   #11
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you can rent an engine hoist from sunbelt rentals that will have enough boom length to get the head off.

1. the bonnett comes off easily with a few cotter pins and two pins at the bottom, once thats gone you have a more clear view.

2. take your radiator / turbo cooler assembly out as a unit with said hoist.. no need to disassemble it.

3. now you have full access to the front of the engine. and can see things really clear now.. the head can be hoisted out once you disconnect it..

** BE CAREFUL ** of the electronics.. the harness connectors inside the valve for the injectors are known to get brittle over time.. and pay close attention to how the harnesses are routed.. you may be able to unplug it externally.. but its a GOOD IDEA to get the head checked and worked while its off.. at a minimum you want it refinished to make sure its completely flat. and will seat properly against the new head gasket.

see ifyou may be able to rent a sleeve puller.. its amazing what tools these rental companies like sunbelt rentals have these days.

clean-clean-clean!!! - cleaning any mating surfaces for liner seals, head gaskets, engine gaskets, etc are KEY to success!

The Oil / Water light only comes on if you reach a temperature of 235 degrees or oil pressure drops below 5 PSI for 5 seconds. if you lost oil pressure your HPOP wouldve run dry and the engine would shut down. sounds to me like maybe your thermostat stuck?, you over-temped and dumped the coolant..
only takes ONCE with these engines sometimes.. but if the liners were that close to going out, its probably a good thing it happened now and not 500 miles away from home.

-Christopher
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:05 PM   #12
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So I have been snooping around for material and found the book that this guy wrote through amazon, facebook, and finally his blog. I'm going to check it out but it may be a pretty good resource for skoolies with DT's.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:58 PM   #13
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Time for an update! This is where the bus was perched. As you can see it's not ideal for engine work.



Step 1 get the wheel with the busted tire off.








Then I had to locate a spare or purchase a new tire. After a few weeks of searching and trying to get the tow company to reimburse me for new rubber I found a matching tire and rim for $100. I jumped on that and installed it same day. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of that process. All 6 of my tires are matching 265/75 r 22.5 and it was pretty hard to find one.

Another thing that I had done to make the move easier was tap into my bus air tank so I could use my tiny little air compressor to charge my tanks. This meant I could release the e-brake without caging and use the brake pedal at will. This eased all our minds considering how much weight we had rolling down hills. Its good to maintain some semblance of control right?

Stay tuned for the exciting pictures and videos of us rolling a bus down a hill while executing a hard right hand turn whilst under no power!
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:38 PM   #14
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I give you huge props for doing this job yourself. It will be a learning experience and save you tons of money. I am concerned about the concrete blocks holding the weight of that bus. I won't even use concrete as a stand on a passenger car let alone a bus. Please be careful.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:50 PM   #15
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I give you huge props for doing this job yourself. It will be a learning experience and save you tons of money. I am concerned about the concrete blocks holding the weight of that bus. I won't even use concrete as a stand on a passenger car let alone a bus. Please be careful.
Railroad ties are great supports. Cut them to convenient lengths.

Concrete blocks can crumble.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:03 PM   #16
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good deal loving to watch this build... you can rebuild that engine.. things are heavy.. take your time and dont skimp on cleaning up the parts.. ie the head end engine block surfaces.. use assembly lube putting bearings in, rent a sleeve puller to pull and install the sleeves... be sure to keep your pistons / sleeves/ rings , etc matched as they come in the in-frame rebuild kit..
read.. and again, take your time.. you got this one..

and yeah support that a little better than with some rocks and such..
-Christopher
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:46 AM   #17
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Yeah I hear ya on the concrete blocks, I wasn't too keen on that idea either. Luckily the bus wasn't resting on them long and they were the only thing that could hold up to the weight. I have some old rr timbers that look like pancakes now though.

The real fun can be seen in the video link below!
https://photos.app.goo.gl/xxLbneg8LSOshiBo1



Now she is in her resting place while we work on the engine.



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Old 11-17-2017, 01:16 PM   #18
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MUCH better (and safer) work surface.
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Old 11-17-2017, 01:25 PM   #19
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great idea on the tent!! i shouldve done that when I had the front clip torn apart on my bus..

pull that bonnet off, it will make life MUCH-OO easier to work,, and its easy to take off too..
-Christopher
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:45 PM   #20
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You guys keep up the great work, and please post as many pics as you can. This is a good thread to follow along!
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